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A Voice On The Via Dolorosa

I grew up in Blue Island, and as a child I have true memories of a man riding/pushing a cart through our neighborhood calling out to sharpen knives, axes, and tools.  The date I have on this message from Uncle George is October, 2005, a year after he had this inspirational experience in the Holy City.  Another example of Fr. McKenna taking a simple life experience and turning it’s meaning towards God.  When you think of it – aren’t all Christ’s parables the same thing!  But then, George did love and learn from The Master.   God’s peace.  Joe.

Knife grinder in Paris, 19 May 2008 via Wikipedia, USER: FLLL

Jerusalem – September 17, 2004;  In the perfect silence of the afternoon, in my room in the Center For Biblical Study, I hear a man’s powerful voice on the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross).  As he moves along, he cries out in one or two words of Arabic, a pleasant sound.  He is offering his services for some needs of the people living on the Sorrowful Way.

The incident reminded me of a sight I had seen back in our Chicago neighborhood a few months previously.  A man was riding on something similar to a bicycle, a three wheel vehicle of some sort.  A big emery wheel was centered in his contraption.  He was offering his services to the neighborhood by way of sharpening the knives of the households on the street.  His bell ringing alerted everyone to his presence.

Now, to the point of this.  Today, a Man, familiar with the Via Dolorosa, moves through our neighborhood streets, calling out in a  pleasant voice with these words . . . “Give Me your heart.  I will take away any dullness in it.  I will make it more effective in your service to Me.  I will refine it of any ugliness that lessens its beauty.”

The word “heart”, receives mention in hundreds and hundreds of times in Biblical readings.  Call “heart” the source of all our human emotions.  From it springs all our ideals in leaving.  In the Psalms, Kind David pleaded for this gift of all gifts . . . “Create in me a clean heart . . . Renew within me a right spirit. . . “

Some years ago, a friend gave me the gift of a piece of Italian marble, red in color, about the size and shape of a human heart.  I hold this in my hand often and lift it to the Lord . . . “Lord, take my heart and make it pleasing to You.”

The noises of the world can deafen us to the Voice of the Christ, asking us for our hearts . . . Scripture says, “If today, you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.”  If our heart is pure, from it will proceed the beauty of a holy life.

Fr. George P. McKenna




September 20, 2019 Posted by | Bulletins | 5 Comments